The Neighborhood Plan Guide

The Department of City Planning, in collaboration with public agencies and community planning partners, has developed the Neighborhood Plan Guide to establish a framework for how to create high-quality and consistent neighborhood plans. This guide creates a standard for the development of neighborhood plans that can be adopted by the City Planning Commission. The City of Pittsburgh will initiate these planning processes in most instances and will use this document to guide its work. Registered Community Organizations can also initiate the neighborhood planning process and work with public agencies to follow these standards and adopt a plan.

The Neighborhood Plan Guide was approved by Planning Commission during Hearing and Action on March 10. Public testimony was accepted following the staff presentation of the Guide.


Goals of the Guide

  • Transparency and information sharing about neighborhood planning processes and what to expect from them​

  • Improve communication about neighborhood planning processes that will be led by the City and/or RCOs​

  • Clarify roles and responsibilities for all involved​

  • Create consistency in process, not outcome​

  • Integration with other City plans ​

  • Address formally adopted citywide goals​

  • Align plans and outcomes with EcoDistricts, United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and the p4 Initiative​


How We Got Here

Staff drafted the Neighborhood Plan Guide based on experiences with Uptown, Hazelwood, Manchester-Chateau, and Homewood and sent to partner agencies who provided 434 comments. A second draft was created based on these comments and provided to the Planning Commission for work sessions where the Department of City Planning received 14 more comments. This same draft was also used for a workshop with the community organizations that worked on those first four plans, who provided an additional 32 comments. Then those comments were addressed and a third draft of the Guide was released for public comment where 67 comments were received (8 participants asked for answers to be kept confidential). The draft for Planning Commission approval addresses those 67 public comments


Contributor Number of Comments Received
City and agency partners 434
Community partners from previous neighborhood planning processes 32
City Planning Commission workshops 14
General Public 67
Total 547


The period of public comment was open from Tuesday, November 12 through Thursday, December 12, 2019. Public comments were incorporated into a second draft of the Neighborhood Plan Guide to be reviewed by the Planning Commission. After the Guide content has been approved for use, the content will be translated into interactive online and print materials to better serve users. The second edition was presented to the Planning Commission on Tuesday, February 11. The 67 public comments resulted in the following changes: 

  • Added more information about how the EcoDistricts Protocol is integrated into the guide.​

  • Added EcoDistricts Protocol and P4 framework to the Example Goals and Indicators Table in the Resources.​

  • Added references to data sources including Pittsburgh Equity Indicators, City Data Portal, and the WPRDC.​

  • Added details to clarify Steering Committee, Action Teams, and Technical Advisory Groups.​

  • Added guidance on how to think about inclusion and equity from the beginning.​

  • Updated the process with guidance about how to address existing plans and studies.​

  • Updated topics table, and made stormwater a required topic for all plans.​

  • Added clarity around the value of adoption and what is mandatory vs. optional.​

The previous public review draft is archived here